"The decision was made keeping in mind the impact that e-cigarettes have on the youth of today", Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamantold reporters in New Delhi.
India on Wednesday approved a ban on the manufacturing and sale of e-cigarettes, after vaping gets a bad rap globally following the death of six people in the United States recently.
Ms. Sitharaman, who headed a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue, said the Cabinet chose to ban e-cigarettes and similar products as they posed health risk to people, especially the youth.
However critics say that apart from being harmful in themselves, the flavours of e-cigarette liquids appeal particularly to children and risk getting them addicted to nicotine.
India's ban came a day after NY became the second U.S. state to prohibit the use of flavoured e-cigarettes.
According to a data by TRENDS - the trade representatives of ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) in India - there are around 2.6 lakh vapers in India while the overall population of smokers (including tobacco-based and beedi) exceed 12 crore.
But India has 106 million adult smokers, second only to China in the world, making it a lucrative market for firms including Juul and Philip Morris.
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The Union Finance Minister during the press briefing said the Central government will bring in an ordinance and the matter will be taken up in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
While announcing the ban, Sitharaman showed various types of products to the media, including a pack of Juul e-cigarettes.
Although few Indians vape at present, the Indian ban also cuts off a vast potential market of 1.3 billion consumers for makers of e-cigarettes.
"If e-cigarettes are allowed in India, it will have a devastating effect on the tobacco farmers in India". The ministry had also proposed a prison sentence of up to three years and a further penalty of up to INR 5 Lakh for repeat offenders.
Legislation is also being tightened elsewhere, and in Singapore e-cigarettes are already outlawed.
The move comes just days after US President Donald Trump announced his own plans to ban the sale of vaping products. Wednesday's ban on these devices is part of worldwide backlash due to health concerns about the product being promoted as less harmful than smoking tobacco.
-The ban on e-cigarettes will be imposed through an executive order.
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